Rio Grande places trio on All-RSC Volleyball team

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — A trio of standouts representing the University of Rio Grande are among those named to the 2020-21 All-River States Conference Volleyball Teams.

The teams and individual awards, which were selected through a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches, were announced Friday by conference officials.

Rio Grande was represented on the all-conference first team by junior middle hitter Jess Youse (Pettisville, OH) and freshman outside hitter Amanda Rarick (Canal Winchester, OH), while senior setter Macy Roell (Farmersville, OH) was among the second team honorees.

Youse led the RSC and ranked 18th nationally with 69 blocks, while finishing second in the league with a .305 hitting percentage and fifth in kills with 153. Rarick was third in the league with 176 kills and ranked fifth with a .250 hitting percentage.

Roell ranked second among the conference leaders in assists with 526, was ninth in digs with 180 and tied for 17th in the RSC with 29 blocks.

RSC champion Indiana University Kokomo headlined the awardees with five first team selections, including RSC Player of the Year Erinn Adam, and six honorees overall.

The league’s head coaches selected 14 players each on the All-RSC first and second teams, while also naming individual award winners and a Champions of Character Team.

Adam, a senior middle hitter from Bloomington, Ind., powered IU Kokomo to a record of 18-0 overall and 13-0 in the RSC during the fall. She turned in a very impressive hitting percentage of .452 and averaged 2.55 kills per set for 130 total kills in just 18 matches. She also posted 65 blocks on the year.

RSC runner-up Indiana University East was well-represented among the individual awards with the freshman duo Reece Shirley and Jessica Swimm being named RSC Setter of the Year and RSC Freshman of the Year, respectively.

Shirley led the conference with 10.7 assists per set while Swimm, an outside hitter, had a league-high 3.70 kills per set.

IU East head coach Kim McConaha was named the conference Coach of the Year after engineering a record of 13-1 overall and 10-0 in league play.

IU Southeast senior Kenna Burman was selected as RSC Defensive Player of the Year. A libero, Burman led the conference with 5.2 digs per set and was second overall with 305 total digs in 17 matches.

IU Kokomo’s Matt Fishman was voted RSC Assistant Coach of the Year. Fishman has gone above and beyond in his part-time role and was a key part of the Cougars’ COVID-19 protocols this past fall.

IU Kokomo had five of the 14 players on the first team with Adam being joined by teammates Lizzie Sokeland (MH), Lorelei Porter (OH), Macee Rudy (L) and Kaley Lyons (S).

IU East had four players on the first team with Shirley and Swimm alongside LaTeah Barrett (MH) and Samantha Wigfield (L).

IU Southeast’s two players on the first team were Burman and Hannah Sipe (S), while Midway (Ky.) University’s Alysha Tullar (OH) joined Youse and Rarick in rounding out the first team.

The All-RSC Second Team had nine different schools represented. Midway and WVU Tech led the way with three selections each, while Asbury (Ky.) University had two.

The RSC Champions of Character Team recognized one member of each team who best displays the five character values of NAIA Champions of Character: Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Servant Leadership and Sportsmanship. The honorees were nominated by their head coach.

Rio Grande was represented on the list by senior Baleigh Bradley (Portsmouth, OH).

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.